Monday, August 22, 2016

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV review

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: *** out of 4
Nyx, Lunafreya, Titus, Crowe, Libertus, Regis, and Luche in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

            At long last, a feature film based on the incredibly popular Final Fantasy video game series that got a theatrical release plus captured the style of its source material. Although this is not the first time a Final Fantasy movie was made, the very first film was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within which was released in 2001 and while the film set new grounds for computer animation at the time, it failed to capture the spirit of the games it was based on, literally it was a Final Fantasy movie by name when really it was just a standard sci-fi action movie, but at least it gave Ming-Na Wen, Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, and James Woods work.
            It wasn’t until the 2005 straight to DVD film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a movie sequel to the 1997 PlayStation game, Final Fantasy VII, when we started to get Final Fantasy movies that understood its source material and did everything the filmmakers could to make the fans happy, and they did, the DVD and Blu-Ray sales were through the roof. So the release of Advent Children opened a door up to new possibilities for Final Fantasy movies, in comes Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a movie prequel to the highly anticipated game, Final Fantasy XV.
            A friend and I always complained about Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children not being released in theaters in the U.S. because the action sequences in that movie, despite being all computer animated are amazing and was almost like being on ecstasy. Well now we got a Final Fantasy movie that was given a limited theatrical release but fortunately one of my local theaters was showing it so I was able to sit down and experience the excitement of the games on the big-screen.
            And it’s not that bad, personally I don’t think it’s nearly as exciting as Advent Children nor do the characters stick out to me as much as Cloud Strife, Barret, Tifa, and the rest of the characters from Advent Children. But on its own, when the action gets going, it’s an energetic joy ride from start to finish.
            Unlike Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, THIS is what I’d like to call a “Movie for the Fans”, sadly the critical reviews for this are very negative but the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is actually pretty high. So that leads me to believe that when watching this movie, it’s not recommended to think critically about it, if you are thinking critically about it, Florence Foster Jenkins is playing next door buddy.
            The film is set in the magical kingdom of Lucis, home of the Sacred Crystal, but the menacing empire of Niflheim is plotting to steal it and use it to destroy the world. King Regis (voiced by Sean Bean-Red Riding 1974, The Lord of the Rings, The Martian) commands an army of elite soldiers known as the Kingsglaive to do battle with Niflheim and save their kingdom.
            Wielding the king’s magic, Nyx (voiced by Aaron Paul-Breaking Bad, Mission: Impossible III, Eye in the Sky) and the rest of the soldiers fight to protect Lucis. As the empire bears down, King Regis is faced with an impossible ultimatum, marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae (voiced by Lena Headey-300, Dredd, Pride + Prejudice + Zombies), captive of Niflheim, and surrender his land to the empire’s rule.
            Although it becomes clear the empire of Niflheim will stop at nothing to achieve their devious agendas, with nothing but the Kingsglaive standing in its way.
            Overall, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is sure to please fans of the games as well as get them excited for the Final Fantasy XV game coming out. Unfortunately, it probably won’t sit well with regular movie-goers, this and Advent Children have the complete opposite problem as The Spirits Within, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within appealed more to movie-goers over fans of the game, whereas these films are geared strictly towards people who already understand the source material and alienates everyone else.
            It’s the same kind of argument with movies based on TV shows or other forms of media, like the Pok√©mon movies. If you watch them with little to no knowledge of the source material, you’ll be confused and possibly bored all the way through, same thing can be said with the Final Fantasy movies.
            But with that said, the animation and action sequences are a ton of fun to watch, especially the climax, basically that whole sequence feels like being on speed. It delivers exactly what fans want to see.
            However, one thing throughout the movie did bother me, there was product placements in this Final Fantasy movie, specifically Audi cars. I swear several scenes in the movie play like a flashy Audi commercial you would probably see on TV, when I think of Final Fantasy, Audi cars is probably the last thing I would think of, but that’s really a nitpick.
            The movie offers plenty of awesome to keep me in the cinema and who knows? I might end up getting the Blu-Ray of the movie when it comes out, along with a copy of the Final Fantasy XV game. Don’t expect an Advent Children, but you can definitely expect Final Fantasy style fun.

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